Research Article

Vestibular function can be affected by autoimmune processes in rheumatoid arthritis


Background and Aim: Autoimmune inner ear disease (AIED) may accompany certain systemic conditions, such as rheumatoid arth­ritis, and manifest audiovestibular dysfunction. This study aimed to compare the vestibular function between rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients and normal subjects using cervical vestibular-evoked myogenic potentials and caloric tests.
Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 25 patients with RA and 20 normal subjects underwent pure tone audiometry, acoustic immittance, cervical vestibular-evoked myo­genic potentials (cVEMPs), and bithermal calo­ric test which eye movements were recorded by videonystagmography.
Results: Sensorineural hearing loss was found in 40% of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, which was significantly higher than controls (p<0.05). Biphasic waveforms of cVEMPs were obtained from all of the participants. There were no significant differences in mean peak-to-peak amplitude and asymmetry ratio between the two groups (p>0.05). The mean peak latency of p13 was significantly higher in RA patients (p<0.05). The mean peak latency of n23 was statistically different in the left ear (p<0.05), but in the right ear the difference was not significant (p>0.05). Unilateral weakness in patients with RA were significantly higher than those in the control group (p<0.05). The values of direc­tional preponderance were not significantly different between groups (p>0.05).
Conclusion: Audiovestibular dysfunction may present in the patients with rheumatoid arthritis to a varying degree. The possible pathology was discussed in here. Further studies may shade more light to the pathogenesis of the AIED.

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IssueVol 24 No 4 (2015) QRcode
SectionResearch Article(s)
Rheumatoid arthritis cervical vestibular evoked myogenic potentials caloric test

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How to Cite
Heydari N, Hajiabolhassan F, Fatahi J, Movaseghi S, Jalaie S. Vestibular function can be affected by autoimmune processes in rheumatoid arthritis. Aud Vestib Res. 2015;24(4):193-200.